Posts Tagged ‘subway signs’

The old-school subway signs at Chambers Street

September 17, 2018

Walking through the Chambers Street IRT station on the West Side not long ago, I noticed these tile subway signs, pointing riders in the right direction to the 1, 2, and 3 trains.

The station itself opened in 1918, and the signs look a lot newer than that. It’s kind of nice that the old-school spelling of uptown and downtown remain—with both words broken into two, so the signs read “up town trains” and “down town trains.”

They’re charming touches that take you back in time to a different New York as you make your way to your train. Luckily, other examples of vintage subway signage can be found in and outside various stations through the city.

Art Deco beauty of an East Side subway entrance

September 3, 2015

Art Deco skyscrapers stand proud like shiny monuments across the Manhattan skyline. But Art Deco subway stations? Those are harder to find.

Artdecosubwaystation

The lucky commuters who take the E or 6 train at Lexington Avenue and 51st Street get to pass this stylized Art Deco subway entrance.

Thanks to the sleek design and surrounding buildings, it’s always the end of the Jazz Age.

ArtdecoGEbuilding

The sign is right outside the General Electric Building (formerly the RCA Victor Building) a 1931 Art Deco beauty, with its decorative bursts along the facade meant to represent the awesome power of radio waves and electricity.

And that wonderful clock, with forearms that stretch time!

Old-school Manhattan subway signage

April 5, 2012

Beneath the Manhattan Municipal Building’s soaring vaulted ceiling is this original sign for the stairs to the BMT (aka, the J and Z) Chambers Street station.

A wonderful vintage lantern-like sign still lights the way at the entrance to the Fulton Street IRT station downtown.

Not all old-timey subway signs are charming. This 1970s-style sign announces the entrance to the Hunter College-68th Street IRT station.

Could this is where the Subway sandwich got the inspiration for their logo? The arrow looks awfully similar.

The iconic subway signs of New York City

November 3, 2011

The subway we know today started out as three separate companies, all building stations at different times.

No wonder the signage at the entrance of each station—behind the MTA’s standard subway typeface, that is—varies so much.

As you duck into the station at 28th Street and Park Avenue South, you’re greeted by this lovely blue and white Roman numeral mosaic.

A Financial District IRT stairway looks like an original. The IRT was purchased by the city in 1940.

This 57th Street entrance is inside an office building that dates from the 1920s or 1930s. The lettering looks Art Deco.

I like this dignified Dyckman Street entrance in Upper Manhattan. It’s chiseled, subtle, not flashy.